WILF Alderton’s family tree has altered significantly in the last few years.
Wilf, now 78, always believed his granddad John William was a “foundling” – the name given to an abandoned child.
He was wrong and we first told the true story last week.
New research has shown Wilf’s family extends back to the highest levels of the Royal family.
Wilf’s wife Lynda, 65, is the person to thank for his true historical links coming to light.
She found out that John William’s mother was Mary Jane Alderton and by going back through Mary Jane’s lineage, a fascinating thread emerged.
Mary Jane’s great-great-great-great grandfather was Richard Savage – he was the last of the line of Earl Rivers.
The Earl Rivers was an English title, held by the families of Woodville, Darcy and Savage.
The title only stopped when Ann Savage, the daughter of the fourth Earl Rivers, became the first woman to stand in line to inherit and the title could not at the time go to a woman.
Earlier, Thomas Savage was the first of his clan to hold the title. He lived from 1586 to 1635 and was the son of Lady Mary Allington.
Her lineage takes us back all the way to Sir John de Burgh, son of Beatrice de Warenne and who lived from 1174 to 1214.
Even further back Beatrice’s ancestry traces her to Gundred Chester Fleming Normandy who lived from 1063 to 1085. Legend has suggested Gundred was a daughter of William the Conqueror.
On another strand of his family tree, stretching back from the Earl Rivers, Wilf’s lineage follows back through Emanuel Scrope, the first Earl of Sunderland who lived from 1584 to 1630.
The Earl’s mother was Philadelphia Carey, who lived from 1552 to 1627 and who was the daughter of Sir Henry Hunsdon Carey.
Sir Henry’s claim to fame is that he was the son of Mary Boleyn, the sister of English queen consort Anne Boleyn.
Mary was one of the mistresses of Henry VIII, with rumours that she bore two of his children.
But even without confirmation of that, Lynda’s research has linked Wilf to Mary Boleyn who she said was Wilf’s 12th great grandmother.
Wilf, 78, and a former joiner, has only one regret.
He told Family Roots: “My dad never knew his father. I wish I had known all this when my dad was alive.”
Wilf’s father was Wilfred Audus Alderton who lived from 1913 to 2001.
“We thought his dad had just been found on a doorstep but that was not the case.”
The truth was that Wilf had a family tree which was packed with English history.
We have had a great year of helping people with their family trees and we hope to do more of the same in 2015.
So why not share your story. Give us a call.
Contact Chris Cordner on (01429) 239377 or email firstname.lastname@example.org